I tell people that I’m home alone while my wife and baby are overseas and they raise an eyebrow. “Having a good time are we?” They ask, with a glint in their eye.
They’re thinking about nightclubs, boozy sessions down the pub with mates, wild weekends away and general debauchery. They’re thinking that each night I get home from work, ditch my work clothes, put on my party shirt and head out until the early hours. I don’t blame them, a year ago I’d have thought the same thing, but now, they couldn’t be further from the truth.
This blog was set up for travelling with children. But what if the children are doing the travelling and you’re stuck at home?
I spent two weeks visiting family in Europe recently with Theo & Katie. If you’ve had kids you know the trip – it’s the ‘let’s show the baby off to everyone we know’ tour. Exhausting. We flew from Sydney to London, London to Spain, drove half the length of the UK all with a four month old baby. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but certainly the little guy was affected by the constant travel. Anyway, I left to come back to work and they stayed on. In the past week he’s done more travelling around the UK and even a flight to Ireland and back. He’s better travelled in four months than I was until I was thirteen years old.
That means I’m here in an apartment in Bondi without my new best mate. Something doesn’t feel right. There are things I’ve done in the past week that I forgot I could ever do. Like leaving the house in under ten seconds, eating dinner from 6.30 – 7 (normally reserved for bath time) and playing loud music at any time of the day. Rather than feeling liberating, it feels slightly odd.
Instead of connecting with friends and reliving my early twenties, I’ve found myself going the other way. I reckon I’ve aged about ten years in the past week. I’ve turned down a few invites to socialize, I’ve been to Bunnings, planted a herb garden (it’s not what you’re thinking), sprinkled ‘grass feeder’ on my fricking garden and gone to bed most nights at 9pm. As a thirty five year old with a fairly youthful outtake on life, I’ve lost the plot without Theo being around. I feel closer to fifty. I was celebrating buying a hosepipe last weekend whilst telling a mate I was too busy to go out. WTF.
Some really, really old people once said ‘being around youth makes you youthful’ and in the past week as I push my lawn mower around the garden, make myself a salad and put my pajamas on at 7pm I think I know what they mean. Now, this may come across as naïve, and anyone with more than one child will immediately think I’m probably mental, but a message for Katie & Theo: Come back – I miss the carnage.
*I do have a few weekend plans which may erase this whole ‘I’m just innocently looking after a garden all day’ vibe. If you see me out and about, just don’t tell Katie yeah?